I am using SFR on my Nexus 6 while I am in Paris.  I’ve also gotten a sim card for our unlocked Amazon phone.  I chose SFR for their tourist pass and I was able to verify that their bands work with our phones.  Unfortunately it seems that the tourist passes don’t come with 4G.  While that is a bummer it isn’t the end of the world because their HSPA+ speeds are awesome.

We arrived in Paris on a Saturday night.  We flew in from London to Charles De Gaul airport (CDG).  With it being so late there was nothing opened.  To look for a sim card we waited till we got to the hotel on Sunday morning.  That turned out to be a bad idea because none of the cell shops are open on Sundays.  Eventually I did find a small shop where I could purchase 2 sim cards from.  It should have been €10 per sim but she charged €25 for two.  They came with €5 of credit on each sim card.  I took them back to the hotel and popped them into the phones.  All went well except for the data part.  I needed to get the tourist passes but they don’t sell them on SFR’s website!  I had to wait till Monday.

Now, I did run into issues with activation.  I was suppose to receive a text message with the cell number in it.  I never did get this email.  I am also suppose to send a ? to a 3 digit number that is suppose to tell me my balance.  That also didn’t work.  This happened on both phones.  The final thing about the activation is the 20 minutes or more that it took.  It may have been that long with WIND in Italy but I really wish they could make that time shorter.

On Monday I did get to the SFR store and bought tourist passes.  Getting them activated took a little messing with it but eventually it worked for me.  On the one phone I was missing a digit in my activation code.  All total I think it was 15 to 20 minutes for the code to activate.  That was how long it took the night before with just the sim cards.

The Amazon Fire phone connected to the data just fine but my Nexus 6 either needed a reboot or different settings.  I had put in new APN settings before I tried the reboot so I am not entirely sure which was the fix.  I found this site to get me going:

SFR Internet APN and MMS Settings for Motorola Nexus 6

Like I mentioned earlier the service seems great.  I wish there was just data only plans one could use but I saw a bad Orange review from someone trying to use a data sim in their iphone and I didn’t want to risk it.  The tourist pass with SIM should work out to about €25 for 60 minutes of talk/200 SMS/1 GB of data.  SFR didn’t have an English website but Google translate worked great on it.

There was just two more things that I thought was interesting.  I didn’t have to give any identification when I purchased the sim cards and even after activation I found a small area on the SFR site that says you can use the SIM for 14 days without identification before you are locked out.  I am only here for a few days but thought that was interesting as I’ve always had to show my passport(in Europe) beforehand.

Lastly, this pass includes unlimited wifi at their SFR hotspots. I found one hotspot near my hotel and it took a few tries but after getting the wifi app downloaded and installed I got it to work.  No speed test was taken but I don’t expect to need it as 1 GB is already overkill for what I need it for.

We’re heading out into the French countryside in a few days.  I’m interested to see how it works outside a major city.